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Kimmie Dee

Originally from the Jersey shore, Kimmie Dee is a freelance writer, stand-up comic, producer and promoter of all things funny. She's worked with Paul Provenza and Troy Conrad of the international comedy show SET LIST. Additionally, she's worked with Doug Stanhope, Kira Soltanovich, Rick Overton, Alonzo Bodden and many, many more. She runs her own production company in Santa Barbara, California called NO INDOOR VOICES and holds a monthly writing salon at Granada Books with famous authors, comedians and other funny professional writers. Oh and she has an opinion on everything, well almost. 



In a month’s time, the east coast has been buried with enough snow to wear down even the “but-I-love-the-change-of-seasons” people.  We’re barely a month in and already the winter has worn out it’s welcome, except in those other areas where winter seemingly has no bearing on mood or outcome. 

I’m talking about Park City, Utah, Santa Barbara and Hollywood, CA, where films and people are hotter than hot this time of year.  I’m talking about the recent distribution of the Golden Globes, the Oscar nominations and the snubs.  I’m talking about the cache of the Sundance, Santa Barbara and other notable film festivals, adding up to the ideal that “It ain’t winter, its award season.”  

It’s the time of year where crazed fans camp out for hours, some even camp for days just to get a glimpse of their heartthrob.  With flashbulbs a plenty, a town overflows with an economic boom that puts smiles on the local ‘mom & pops’.  Add a dash of celebrity and you’ve got the perfect example of a glamour paradox; an opportunity for many to take themselves way too seriously and neglect perspective.

Regardless of venue size or event, there’s one thing you can count on and that is that nothing would be possible without volunteers. Overlooked and underrated, volunteers are the one constant that work tirelessly to insure that every aspect of every event function like clockwork. So often, those garnishing a paycheck, sponsoring an event, or sporting some V.I.P. pass seemingly overlook the importance of volunteers.   Every year hoards of dedicated volunteers take time off from work, rearrange schedules, and make all kinds of sacrifices in order to bring an event they believe in to fruition. 

Hundreds of thousands volunteer for more serious events, but it doesn’t make the dedication any less significant.  To volunteer for something, means you give of yourself, your skills and your time of your own free will.  It’s often considered to be either altruistic or self-serving, depending on whomever you ask. 

As for me, I’ve taken many opportunities to volunteer in my community, and elsewhere, for as long as I can remember.  Be it making baked goods to help raise money, writing letters to soldiers or visiting them at Walter Reed, donating blood, referring basketball games for the Special Olympics or working at soup kitchens on the holidays, I’ve volunteered my time and skills.  And for the past decade, I’ve even been a volunteer for the Santa Barbara International Film Festival.

Having given so much of my self and my time, I know what kind of dedication goes into being a volunteer.  I know the amount of work, the long hours, and how to put out fires and ‘fix-something-before-it’s-broke,’ essentially, what it takes to make things run smoothly.  I know the highs and adrenalin rushes that come from doing a good job and making the collective happy.  I like that.  The rewards are some of the best experiences I’ve ever had.  Being in the mix of so many people, making something work, pulling off an event without a hitch is an incredible feeling.

That said, I also know how insulting it is to be treated less than by a “staff” member merely because a paycheck doesn’t exchange hands.  Believe me, I’d much prefer getting paid for everything I do, especially at home!  Dismissing someone because they’re “just a volunteer” is disrespectful at best.

Volunteering isn’t something to be looked down upon, nor is it reasonable to treat someone with experience like an outsider simply because there isn’t enough money in the non-profit budget to cover everyone’s expenses. Essentially, to help out in one’s community in order to create an event that provides multiple benefits is what ‘non-profit’ means.  And to that end, the ‘self-appointed-cool-kids-clique’ should be grateful for the gifts volunteers bring because were they to ever “walk off the set,” believe me when I tell you,“staff” wouldn’t know what to do nor could they even begin to handle such a workload.  To staffers, while you may get paid and you may even feel obligated to work for that paycheck, volunteers work out of compassion for their community and with passion for a cause.  You get paid because volunteers make your position possible. Oh, and for the record, you are replaceable.  Just sayin’.              

Throughout history, volunteers have made miraculous changes in the global landscape and will continue to do so on a daily basis in areas that really matter.  The next time you need blood, adopt a pet or see the ultimate volunteer, a United States Soldier, think twice about judging someone for giving of themselves for ‘free’ but do make sure to say Thank You. 

Comments (1)

Thanks for checking out my

Thanks for checking out my article on the importance of volunteering in a time when the Peter Principal runs amok.  Feel free to add any upcoming events that need volunteers, offer jobs and above all will treat those 'hired' with respect.  





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